AAA Editor Notes
James Madison’s Montpelier is at 11350 Constitution Hwy. (SR 20). The 2,650-acre property was the lifelong home of James Madison, fourth president of the United States, Father of the Constitution and architect of the Bill of Rights. Madison and his wife, Dolley—America’s “first” first lady—are buried in the family cemetery.
A visitor center houses a theater, which presents an orientation film, the Joe and Marge Grills Gallery and the William duPont Gallery. Also on the grounds is the Gilmore Cabin, open on weekends from April through October. The restored structure was built in the 1870s by George Gilmore, a freed Montpelier slave, and his wife Polly. The 1910 Train Depot houses a Jim Crow exhibit.
Ongoing archaeological excavations uncover details of plantation life, and curators continue to work to return the Madisons' furnishings and decor to the home. The South Yard—the domestic slave quarters—is being recreated with slave dwellings, kitchens and a smokehouse. The grounds also include the Annie duPont Formal Garden, the Stable Quarter, the 200-acre James Madison Landmark Forest, an archaeology lab, a Civil War encampment site and more than 9 miles of walking trails through old-growth forests and meadows.
Guided tours are available. Food is available.